Hercules vs Achilles is a comparison of two very famous heroes of Greek and Roman mythology. Hercules and Achilles stand out among the uncountable characters of both mythologies because of their daring nature, famous patronage, and looks.
Both these characters had an adventurous life with many romantic partners, heartfelt friendships, and scary conquests. Read ahead as we have collected and assembled all the information on Hercules, Achilles’ heel for a thorough comparison and a better understanding.
Hercules vs Achilles Quick Comparison Table
|Parents||Jupiter and Alcmene||Peleus and Thetis|
|Siblings||Apollo, Artemis, Persephone||None|
|Powers||Super Human Strength||None|
|Type of Creature||Demigod||Human but partly Immortal|
|Appearance||Muscular with Curly Red Hair||Long Wavy Hair with a beautiful Face|
|Other Names||Heracles||Aeacides, Nereius|
|Major Myth||12 Labors||Achilles’ Heel|
|Death||Poisoned Shirt||In Trojan War by Paris|
What Are the Differences Between Hercules vs Achilles?
The main difference between Hercules and Achilles is that they both belong to different mythologies, which means Roman and Greek. Hercules is a demigod born to Roman gods Jupiter and Alcmene, whereas Achilles was made immortal later by his mother, Nereid Thetis, and father, King Peleus.
What Is Hercules Best Known For?
Hercules is best known for his super-human strength and the fact that he is the demigod son of Jupiter and Alcmene. Hercules is considered a hero in Roman mythology. However, this character is not unique. Hercules is actually a character taken from the Greek nature, Heracles. Here we answer the most intriguing questions about Hercules:
Hercules in Roman Mythology
Hercules was a demigod in Roman mythology and the son of Jupiter and Alcmene. Jupiter was the ultimate god in Roman mythology and also the Roman counterpart of Zeus. Alcmene on the other hand was a common human woman with no godly powers or relations. She was however one of the prettiest women on Earth which is why she was in the eyes of Jupiter.
Hercules had many relationships in his life, both with men and women. He often fell in love, but nature kept him from settling down. One of the reasons for his extravagant life was that he was adventurous and had a different opponent waiting for him every day. The latter kept him busy and which is why he never settled down.
Hercules is also known for his various battles against all sorts of creatures. He was one of the most heroic characters in mythology. In addition, he was also known for his masculinity and the band on his head which kept his hair in place, and his many qualities made him famous among both men and women.
Hercules Physical Features
Hercules looked like the most beautiful demigod. He was muscular with luscious curly red hair. He was of medium height and was exceptionally strong. The literature explains that Hercules had deep blue eyes that went very well with his strong jawline and well-sculpted face. His strength and his looks were what made him famous of course, after being a demigod son of God Jupiter.
His looks were so attractive that he was famous among women and men. The literature name many partners of Hercules.
The 12 Labors of Hercules
Hercules was a demigod which means he was a mortal being. Zeus wanted his son to become immortal and live on Mount Olympus after his death on Earth. For this purpose, Hercules was given twelve tasks of various types to complete. In order to gain immortality after his worldly death, Hercules would complete each task to perfection without the help of anyone.
The 12 tasks that were given to Hercules/Heracles are as follows:
- Slay the Nemean Lion
- Slay the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra
- Capture the Golden Hind of Artemis
- Capture the Erymanthian Boar
- Clean the Augean stables in a complete day
- Slay the Stymphalian Birds
- Capture the Cretan Bull
- Steal the Mares of Diomedes
- Obtain the girdle of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons
- Obtain the cattle of the monster Geryon
- Steal the golden apples of the Hesperides
- Capture and bring back Cerberus
Hercules completed all of these tasks without anyone aiding him. Unlike the gods and goddesses of mythology, Hercules was a self-made hero who gained immortality through hard work and sweat.
Hercules Death in Roman Mythology
Hercules died by a poisoned shirt given to him by his wife who thought Hercules was cheating on her with another woman. As the character is taken from Greek mythology, Heracles die because of a poisoned shirt so we can assume that Hercules died in the same way because Roman mythology does not explain his death in any manner.
After Hercules had come in contact with the poisoned shirt, he knew he was going to die. He then built his own funeral fire and sat in it. This is one of the most unique deaths in all of the mythologies since no hero has ever built his own fire and sat in it calmly and awaited death.
What Is Achilles Best Known For?
Achilles is best known for his role in the Trojan war, his relation to Patroclus, his mother, how she wanted to make him immortal, and finally his heel. Achilles was a fairly celebrated character in mythology and among the followers of the mythology. This was because his story was full of twists and turns throughout history.
In addition, his contribution to the greatest war of Greek mythology is nothing short of spectacular. below we answer all the main questions about Achilles that will help in understanding his life and ultimately aid in comparison against Hercules.
Achilles in Greek Mythology
Achilles was a Greek hero in mythology and was the son of a nereid Thetis and King Peleus. Thetis was a nereid which is a type of sea nymph that often accompany Poseidon. They are very beautiful and mystical creatures in mythology. Peleus was a human with no godly powers or relations and was the king of Phthia.
Thetis was known for her beauty in all of the universe and that is why was in the eyes of Zeus and Poseidon. They both wanted Thetis for themselves but only backed down when they heard the prophecy that Thetis’ son would be stronger than his father. After this, they married Thetis to Peleus and she bore a son to him called Achilles.
Achilles was the son of a king, a prince who became a great warrior from a very young age. His only connection to the gods was his mother who was a nereid, thus a supernatural entity.
Achilles Physical Features
Achilles was one of the most handsome men present at the time. He was a young boy with very immaculate features. He walked with a very manly gait that was seen as a sign of greatness and bravery and had the shiniest reddish-blond hair with deep green eyes. He was almost too perfect.
His likes and dislikes were very royal-like as he was the prince of Phthia. People gushed over his masculinity. Even at his young age, he was famous among men and women. He had many relations throughout his short life but he never settled down or took a wife.
Patroclus and Achilles
Patroclus was a companion of Achilles. They did everything together since they first got to know each other when they were mere kids. However, it is key to know that Achilles and Patroclus could not be separated and everyone around them knew that. They were brothers, best friends, soulmates, and everything in between.
People suspected that they were more than just friends. There was a deeper more intimate relationship between them which they never disclosed openly and never even talked about it in public. Nonetheless, the pair is very famous for the love and care they carried for each other.
Importance of Achilles’ Heel in Greek Mythology
Achilles’ heel has the utmost importance in the life of Achilles in Greek mythology. It is also one of the most interesting stories in the myth that also has a great twist to it. It all starts with Thetis who is a nereid and knows about the life and luxuries of the immortal world. Her sole dream is to make her son, Achilles, immortal as she herself was an immortal being.
For this purpose, Thetis took Achilles to the famous River Styx and dipped Achilles in the river several times by holding him from his heel. According to the legend, the river’s water would make anything it touches immortal. The water touched everything on Achilles’ body except his heel. Unknowingly, Thetis brought him back thinking that all of Achilles has been dipped and now he is immortal as a whole.
Nonetheless, afterward, Thetis would find out that she indeed did not dip all of Achilles in the River Styx and she had made a grave mistake.
The Role of Achilles in the Trojan War
Achilles played the role of a great warrior in the Trojan war that brought death to many important characters. Achilles was on the side of the Greeks in the war and the leader of the Myrmidons’ army. He came to the war with 50 ships loaded with soldiers and war amenities. He fought with great bravery and valor.
His friend and dear companion, Patroclus also fought beside him. Hector, the Trojan prince, killed Patroclus which broke Achilles. To avenge his death Achilles chased down Hector and put a spear through his heart. Hector begged his body to be returned to his family but his last wish was denied by Achilles.
Killed Achilles Death
Achilles was killed by Paris, the main antagonist in the Trojan war. Paris killed him to avenge the death of Hector. This vicious cycle of avenging the deaths in a war is something that is the essence of Greek mythology. Many great warriors have lost their lives to the cycle.
Homer and Hesiod explain the death of Achilles. Their books focus on the lives that led to the war and its aftermath. These books are the basis of mythology as we know it today. So all the information about Achilles has been gathered from the books.
What Was the Reason For Trojan War?
The main reason for the Trojan war was that the Trojan prince, Paris had abducted Helen of Sparta, the wife of Melenaus. This sparked outrage in the region and the region broke into two sides: the Trojans and the Greeks. The war lasted for ten years and resulted in uncountable casualties and destruction. It is one of the most famous wars in Greek mythology.
Did Hercules Fight Any Gods?
Hercules fought the river god Achelous. Other than that he fought a lot of different creatures to fulfill his 12 tasks. He was no doubt a very brave and passionate man that did not give up or caved in the face of danger.
Who Was Heracles?
Heracles was a demigod son of Zeus and Alcmene. He had many popular siblings and was of great importance on Earth and on Mount Olympus. Given his popularity, the Romans absorbed the character into their own mythology while keeping everything the same and only changing his name to Hercules.
Heracles and Hercules, therefore, are the different names of the same individual in different mythologies. Nevertheless both the characters are of heroic nature and have their own wide following.
Hercules and Achilles belong to two different mythologies, namely Roman and Greek respectively. Both heroes led incredible life with a lot of fame, love, and adventure. They have a few similarities they never settled down, they died at a young age, both of them were born mortal, and both of them were very handsome. The two heroes surely have a big following inside and outside the mythology.
The names, Hercules and Achilles, have been used multiple times in the world today. Throughout the times, people have named cutting-edge technology after them, and also some buildings and museums. This indicates the effect the two characters have on the world.